Couple in Ga. scammed out of $500K trying to buy African gold, police say

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) - Police in Georgia say a couple claims they got scammed out of half a million dollars.

Police say the scam started seven years ago, when they tried to buy gold from Africa.

After getting strung along for years and milked of money, they are just now reporting it to authorities.

Neighbor Anna Conley says she's seen her fair share of fraud as a banker.

"There's elder abuse, where folks come in and scam elderly people," she said.

She says she wasn't surprised to hear about a scam that cost a Roswell couple $500,000.

"They're naive and they take things for granted," she said.

Lt. Noah Caplan says the victims contacted police last month.

"Back in 2012, she purchased approximately 100 kilograms of gold from an individual in Ghana," Caplan said. "And she was told the gold was intercepted at the airport and has been in storage ever since."

Caplan says over the course of the next seven years, scammers convinced the couple to give them big bucks to secure their purchase.

"Since 2012, she spent approximately $500,000 trying to obtain the gold she believed she purchased online," he said.

Caplan says the victims made the purchase online and apparently never saw the African gold broker who purported to be selling to them.

"This story has red flags all over it," he said. "She's doing online business with a person she's never met, who can't be verified and who's claiming to be from a foreign country. And she's getting a great deal out of it, so all those factors combined would lend themselves to possibly being a scam."

The couple says they are embarrassed about what happened and did not want to comment on the incident.

"It is hard to prosecute them, especially if they're out of the country," Conley said. "There's a lot of out of the country fraud. They need to be locked up."

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